For the second week in a row, A.J. Allmendinger was the class of the Gillett Evernham Motorsports stable. Once again, he was the pilot for the No. 10 Sears Auto Center/Valvoline Dodge in the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
He placed 14th after starting 39th, due to the washout that was supposed to be qualifying. The performance earned him the USG Sheetrock "Improving the Finish" contingency award. Teammates Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne finished 25th and 33rd respectively.
This finish was nearly identical to his performance at a track that is a polar opposite to Atlanta, the close quarters racing of Martinsville. There, he finished 15th after starting 39th, while Kahne finished 33rd and Sadler 41st.
After finishes of ninth at Kansas and 16th at Dover, Allmendinger was released from the No. 84 Red Bull team just before this fall's Talladega race in favor of Scott Speed.
He would sit out that race before being offered to drive the No. 00 car for Michael Waltrip Racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The day would come to an early end when a tangle with Regan Smith put him in the wall.
Since than, A.J. has shown that he can run with the best of them, turn in a decent finish, run at different types of tracks, and most importantly, keep the car in one piece. He remains unsigned going into next year.
Hopefully, we will find out that he has landed safely with a team for the 2009 season.